You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2009.
In my previous post, how many ping pong balls can you see? Or see evidence of?
This is probably the second time in almost a decade that we haven’t taken a trip during Chinese New Year. We’ve been visiting oodles of friends and spending the government vouchers that every citizen was given (they’re to stimulate the economy so we’re not allowed to put them in the bank!) One of the families we’ve been spending time with is probably responsible for half of my blog readership, so I better share some Keanu and Kate pictures to keep them happy!
One of the fabulous things about Chinese New Year is all the fireworks that go off. We’re lucky to be in an area where we can view them right from our window. Unfortunately that also means we’re in an area where fire crackers go off, constantly, at all hours of the night. Ah well, it makes for a festive atmosphere, right?
Here’s another fun and easy craft… make a fire cracker for display.
empty pop can
cardboard circle (slightly smaller than pop can top)
Step 1: wrap pop can with red paper, fold edges down.
Step 2: poke chenille stick through red paper and tape down, then cover the cardboard circle with it. Adhere to the top of the can.
Step 3: Add glitter and a lucky character (or make up your own like Jaylene did).
We don’t buy real fire crackers or fire works, but we can’t resist sparklers.
I can’t decide which versions I like better, the desaturated black and white or the original yellow tones. Perhaps sepia? What do you think?
Happy New Year’s Eve!
Oranges are a sign of luck and prosperity and are abundant around the New Year celebrations. They look lovely stacked up like a pyramid with a stem and a few leaves attached. One of the lucky New Year poems is about the orange and it goes like this: “Da Ji Da Li” which means the same as every other New Year poem, “Good Luck!”
For a fun and fast craft, make your own lucky oranges.
recycled paper for inside
orange paper for outside
a green straw
green paper or fuzzy chenille sticks for leaves
clear packing tape
red paper for lucky character
Super Easy Directions:
1. Crumple inside paper into a ball
2. Cover with orange paper
3. Wrap it up with the tape
4. Poke a hole in the top and stick the straw in, tape it secure
5. Add leaves
6. Write a lucky character on a small square of red paper and tape it to the front
Good luck to you!
It was a busy day for us, we went shopping for some new traditional clothes (or is it traditional new clothes… does that even make sense?) and visited three different families. At one house we decorated gingerbread cookies, mmmm. I’m too tired/lazy to upload those photos so I’ll just share some of Jayden creating Nian Gao, Chinese New Year cake.
He’s so happy with himself, and I love the little dusting of flour on his nose.
I like this version of the cake more than the stickier kind. I’ll have to try and remember to ask the teachers for the recipe.
First off, it’s the beginning of 9 days of holidays for the nation. Yay! Jaylene and I finished off our first week of a 3 week winter vacation (we mostly slept in and took naps) and now we’re joined by the boys in the family for some fun and frolicking. Here’s a shot of Jayden’s class today on their last day of school, holding up their faux firecrackers and red envelopes. Gong Xi Fa Tsai!
Red envelopes can be filled with money or candy and are the much anticipated gift of the season. Jayden’s and his classmates’ were filled with candy oranges and Wang Wang cookies. My kids would live off of those cookies if they could. They’re a kind of puffy rice cookie, but I don’t really care for them myself. They’re no oreo!
Today Jaylene and I managed to stay awake long enough to do some crafting. We made Chinese Key paper cuts. Chinese paper cuts are quite intricate and way beyond either of our patience levels (and Jaylene is much more patient than I am!) However, I thought it would be fun to make some faux Chinese Key papercuts. At least that’s what I call them. I have a paper punch that is called a Chinese key (click here and scroll to the bottom), but Ahji says it means nothing. Oh well!
The actual character in the circle that is commonly used is shou which means long life. It is often carved into wood or jade and given as a gift, especially to the elderly. A jewelry pendant example can be found here, if you’re not sure what I’m talking about. We didn’t follow the traditional design but made up our own characters.
This is Jaylene’s, and she says it means “Elder sister who loves to play with younger brother who has adorable cheeks”.
How to make your own Chinese Key Cutouts.
Cut out a circle (traditionally red paper would be used). We tried folding our paper in fourths first but found tracing a plate to be easiest. Fold the circle in half and cut strips, from the center, almost to the edge, but leave a fair sized border.
Keep the circle folded in half and cut off every other strip, but make each one look a little different. Cut notches out or make arrow-like ends or other designs. It took us a couple of tries to get the look we liked.
Step 3: Unfold your character and think up a meaning. Mine means “She who longs for sunshine and warmth.”
Now this craft Jayden definitely did by himself, yet there are no pictures of him on the school blog doing so. Ah well, I thought I’d share it with you anyway. They made Chinese New Year Firecrackers.
Red square of thick material (book board, foam core, plastic, whatevah) about 10×10 cm
Wide red straws, cut into five cm lengths
Gold foil tape
Faux lantern (optional)
Step two: string on the faux firecrackers
After wrapping gold foil tape around the edges (Jayden didn’t do this part), string them all together (he did do this part). For wee ones it helps to pre-punch some holes.